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Bronner

Why I sold my Rickenbacker Bass

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Many years ago I owned a Rickenbacker bass. I saw that McCartney used one for several years. So I wanted one. Big mistake.

If you've never owned or played one of these basses, they aren't that good to be honest. The day I got rid of it I had no remorse and I still don't have any remorse. They have a horrible tone and lack versatility. I'm sure the copies or another brand of bass altogether will be better. I'm just being brutally honest.

Think of all of the other amazing types of basses you could buy for the money instead of wasting your bread on a Rickenbacker.

Now that the decades have passed since getting rid of it; I've come to realize that McCartney probably played this bass because they made him a left-handed copy. He got it free. That's all there is to it.

Just my opinion.

As for other personalities that played a Rickenbacker:

[color=#000000][font=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif][size=3]Peter Hook's bass was actually a Hondo.[/size][/font][/color]

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I've found Ricks have really grown on me over the years to the point where I'm really starting to GAS for one. Nothing else looks or sounds quite like one and I really feel that I need to own one at some point.

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[quote name='Subbeh' timestamp='1426897821' post='2723352']
I've found Ricks have really grown on me over the years to the point where I'm really starting to GAS for one. Nothing else looks or sounds quite like one and I really feel that I need to own one at some point.
[/quote]

In terms of the looks, I can't argue with you. I tend to think they "look" interesting.

In terms of the tone, I really recommend you borrow one from a friend for a couple of weeks if possible. The pickups sound like someone's first home pickup winding project. Very tinny. If there was any way I could get a good tone out of it, I would have kept it. It was just horrible.

I tried it with many types of amps and strings.

Also the the way the bass is designed really demands you to work hard for all the notes you want to play. It's also heavy, which I wouldn't mind if it had features, which it doesn't.

Borrow one on a long term basis and see if you want to spend your bread on that.

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Played a mid-late 70's 4001 not that long ago. An underwhelming experience to be honest. Didn't grab me. The looks however are just stunnning IMO.

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[quote name='40hz' timestamp='1426899178' post='2723368']
Played a mid-late 70's 4001 not that long ago. An underwhelming experience to be honest. Didn't grab me. The looks however are just stunnning IMO.
[/quote]

Exactly. Looks great.

About 20 years or so when I bought my Rick. I thought (hoped?) the [u][b]tone[/b][/u] I would get out of it would be similar to McCartney's tone, but I was wrong. The bass is disagreeable with many types of amps, and is just a heavy slab of overpainted wood with unnecessary metal parts. It looks like it will be amazing, but doesn't have playability or range of tones that even a $50 Chinese bass has. It's voiced like a cheap guitar pickup.

Edited by Bronner

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I think most would agree that they look and sound like nothing else. Had a '73 4001 that I absolutely loved that, sadly, is no longer of this world. My '80 4003, gets pulled out everytime I lust for a bass sound not generated by something with Fender on the headstock. lol

YMMV

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*Almost purchased a 1991 Ric last week. Not for it's sound, I can process that. Because to me and maybe some other guys of my vintage that first saw the Ric when Paul played one on the "Hello Goodbye" video (November 1967 ).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsnZmqJRZcg

It's clearly a Hofner on the recording.

IMO, the Ric is one of the coolest looking basses on the market.

Blue

* Didn't buy it. Decided it might be a better idea to pay my property taxes instead :(

Edited by blue

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[quote name='Bronner' timestamp='1426899700' post='2723372']


Exactly. Looks great.

About 20 years or so when I bought my Rick. I thought (hoped?) The tone I would get out of it would be similar to McCartney's tone, but I was wrong. The bass is disagreeable with many types of amps
[/quote]

So McCartney can get a tone you like from a Ric, but you can't. Therefore Rickenbackers are disagreeable. Interesting logic...

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[quote name='dadofsix' timestamp='1426899987' post='2723373']
I think most would agree that they look and sound like nothing else. Had a '73 4001 that I absolutely loved that, sadly, is no longer of this world. My '80 4003, gets pulled out everytime I lust for a bass sound not generated by something with Fender on the headstock. lol

YMMV
[/quote]

Look at all of the great and inexpensive basses they make in Japan. You could have 3-4 of those for the price of one [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Rickenbacker. The choice isn't only between Fender and Rick.[/font][/color]

[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][color="#282828"]The Rick's pickup commonly suffers from a lot of noise and hum, and can't handle a broad array styles. It doesn't match up well with many bass amps. Buying a Rick is like buying one of those French Bicycles from the 1920s with the huge wheel in the front and the little wheel in the back; looks cool, but won't take you far.[/color][/font]

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[quote name='Bronner' timestamp='1426900713' post='2723376']

[font="helvetica, arial, sans-serif"][color="#282828"] Buying a Rick is like buying one of those French Bicycles from the 1920s with the huge wheel in the front and the little wheel in the back; looks cool, but won't take you far.[/color][/font]
[/quote]

It will if you know how to ride it properly

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[quote name='simon1964' timestamp='1426900487' post='2723375']
So McCartney can get a tone you like from a Ric, but you can't. Therefore Rickenbackers are disagreeable. Interesting logic...
[/quote]

McCartney can do a lot of things most of us can't. For obvious reasons. :rolleyes:

Blue

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[quote name='Bronner' timestamp='1426900713' post='2723376']
Look at all of the great and inexpensive basses they make in Japan. You could have 3-4 of those for the price of one [color=#282828][font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif]Rickenbacker. The choice isn't only between Fender and Rick.[/font][/color]

[font=helvetica, arial, sans-serif][color=#282828]The Rick's pickup commonly suffers from a lot of noise and hum, and can't handle a broad array styles. It doesn't match up well with many bass amps. Buying a Rick is like buying one of those French Bicycles from the 1920s with the huge wheel in the front and the little wheel in the back; looks cool, but won't take you far.[/color][/font]
[/quote]

That's not been my experience in the studio or on stage. I respect your right to venture your opinion and your experiences with a Rickenbacker bass. I just don't happen to share it or agree with it. But, variety is still the spice of life :-)

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[quote name='simon1964' timestamp='1426900487' post='2723375']
So McCartney can get a tone you like from a Ric, but you can't. Therefore Rickenbackers are disagreeable. Interesting logic...
[/quote]

[color=#000000][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif] You have to understand the compressors, consoles and tube microphones they used to warm-up that bass to get a workable tone out of it. [/font][/color]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif"][color="#000000"]The Rick sounds terrible recorded direct. What you hear on McCartney's recordings with the Rick is a highly sweetened tone from the studio gear; the Rick's organic tone is not flattering at all. [/color][/font]

[size=4][color=#000000][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]If you want to carry around a Telefunken U47 mic, an EMI RS124 compressor[i]/[/i]limiter from Abbey Road Studios, and a REDD 37 analog recording console to your gigs, I'm sure you can get McCartney's tone. Otherwise, your Rick will sound like you are playing bass through a cheap electric guitar pickup. [/font][/color][/size]

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[quote name='simon1964' timestamp='1426900935' post='2723377']
It will if you know how to ride it properly
[/quote]

1. Okay, I say the Rick sounds terrible recorded direct (especially for the money).

2. You say you can "ride" it properly. So, I agree with you, you're amazing, and maybe I'm wrong.

THE TEST: Now put an audio clip of a Rick recorded direct, without effects, and show us how to "ride." Let's hear the amazing tone.

The reason you won't, is because (1) you either don't know what you're talking about, or (2) any direct recording of a Rick will show it sounds like a cheapy instrument.

Out of all of the well-known Rick players, how many of them are still using their instruments? Very few. Even the 'Lemmy' Rick has been re-designed, have a look at it and tell me if that's the original pickup configuration, right? It was so good he asked them to change it and they pay him to play it.

- Roger Waters: Dumped the Rick.
- John Entwhistle: Dumped the Rick.
- McCartney: Dumped the Rick.
- Lemmy: Asked the bass to be re-designed with a new pickup configuration.

The real test of an instrument -- when deciding on price to quality -- is whether you are still going to want to use it down the road. But with a lot of players it's clear they used it until they realized there were better instruments for the money.

Edited by Bronner

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[quote name='Bronner' timestamp='1426901372' post='2723380']


[color=#000000][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif] You have to understand the compressors, consoles and tube microphones they used to warm-up that bass to get a workable tone out of it. [/font][/color]

[font="arial, helvetica, sans-serif"][color="#000000"]The Rick sounds terrible recorded direct. What you hear on McCartney's recordings with the Rick is a highly sweetened tone from the studio gear; the Rick's organic tone is not flattering at all. [/color][/font]

[size=4][color=#000000][font=arial, helvetica, sans-serif]If you want to carry around a Telefunken U47 mic, an EMI RS124 compressor[i]/[/i]limiter from Abbey Road Studios, and a REDD 37 analog recording console to your gigs, I'm sure you can get McCartney's tone. Otherwise, your Rick will sound like you are playing bass through a cheap electric guitar pickup. [/font][/color][/size]
[/quote]

Lol. Thanks for the advice!

Over the last 20 years I have played Rickenbackers (three in fact), fenders, shukers, Gibsons, G&L, Sandberg and Warwicks live. The only basses punters, or other musicians, have ever commented on are the Ricks. Look good and sound good if you get a good one.

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[quote name='Bronner' timestamp='1426901592' post='2723382']

The reason you won't, is because....
[/quote]

The reason I won't is because I have better things to do.

Ultimately I like the Rickenbacker tone and you don't. That's fair enough, but bassists from McCartney to cliff burton, and Lemmy to Bruce Foxton and Geddy Lee have got great ( and diverse) tones out of a Rick. You're perfectly entitled not to like Ricks. And if you can't get a good tone out of a Rick I believe you. But I'm certain others can.

Edited by simon1964

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[quote name='simon1964' timestamp='1426902377' post='2723387']
The reason I won't is because I have better things to do.[/quote]

You say you can make it sound good, and I say let's hear, and now you have better things to do? Instead of 3 comments, you could have just put up one audio clip of the Rick recorded [b][u]direct[/u][/b]. LOL !

Let't hear the bass direct, and it's 'diverse' tones ([i]as opposed to the amps and effects used to color the sound of the bass[/i]).

Edited by Bronner

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[quote name='Bronner' timestamp='1426903513' post='2723393']


You say you can make it sound good, and I say let's hear, and now you have better things to do? Instead of 3 comments, you could have just put up a little audio clip. LOL !
[/quote]

I'll be playing one of my Ricks with my covers band at the Charlton Arms in Chilwell, Nottingham next Saturday. If you want to judge my tone come along. I'll buy you a beer whether you like it or not!

Edited by simon1964

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[quote name='Bronner' timestamp='1426903513' post='2723393']
You say you can make it sound good, and I say let's hear, and now you have better things to do? Instead of 3 comments, you could have just put up one audio clip of the Rick recorded direct. LOL !
[/quote]


Wow, man. Give it a rest. So you can't get a Rick to sound good. My condolences. Others, myself included, can. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this point is being argued.

Edited by dadofsix

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[quote name='dadofsix' timestamp='1426903726' post='2723396']
Wow, man. Give it a rest. So you can't get a Rick to sound good. My condolences. Others, myself included, can. For the life of me, I can't figure out why this point is being argued.
[/quote]

See if you can read this:

For the money, instead of getting a Rickenbacker, the average person can:

1. Get a bass with more versatile tones.

2. That's easier to play.

3. Whose pickups will hum less and produce a more even volume across all strings.

4. Whose pickups sound good recorded [b]direct[/b]. ([i]Hopefully you understand what direct recording is; it's the actual sound the instrument makes; not the effects[/i].)

5. And that costs much less.

Really, I'm trying to keep people from making the same mistake I made from buying a Rick bass by getting caught-up in the fantasy and mythology surrounding what is in fact a low quality instrument. I'm not the one who acts like somebody insulted my Daddy just because some criticisms were made about a mass produced product.

Edited by Bronner

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Wow, man. Your point has been made . . . ad-nauseum. I'd like to be able to buy you a beer if the situation ever presents itself, but, never mind. You just keep on with your shrill preaching to the rooftops. If that's what makes you happy, have at it. You own this thread -- have fun. I'm done.

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[quote name='Bronner' timestamp='1426904618' post='2723399']


Really, I'm trying to keep people from making the same mistake I made from buying a Rick bass by getting caught-up in the fantasy and mythology surrounding what is in fact a low quality instrument. I'm not the one who acts like somebody insulted my Daddy just because some criticisms were made about a mass produced product.
[/quote]

Blimey. You don't like Ricks, do you!

My advice would be that different people like different basses. Whether it's a fender, Rick, or anything else, try it out, see if you like it and make up your own mind based on your own experience.

Oh, and you're still welcome to that beer in Chilwell if you're still convinced my tone must be crap!

Edited by simon1964

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[quote name='dadofsix' timestamp='1426905173' post='2723400']
Wow, man. Your point has been made . . . ad-nauseum. I'd like to be able to buy you a beer if the situation ever presents itself, but, never mind. You just keep on with your shrill preaching to the rooftops. If that's what makes you happy, have at it. You own this thread -- have fun. I'm done.
[/quote]

I criticized the bass.

You criticized me personally for criticizing a brand of bass.

Still I don't take it personally.

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I own and gig with around 9 different bass guitars, mostly Fenders & Gibson models.

The only bass I own that has a unique and inherently different sound than any other bass I own is my German crafted Hofner Club bass. You can't get that Hofner "thump" anywhere else. The Contemporary Hofner series made in Korea don't have it.

Am I remotely on topic?

Blue

Edited by blue

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